Preserve Enrichment and Quest Programs in Readington with one Gifted Ed teacher per school
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There are changes being discussed that would negatively impact the current Enrichment offerings, and Quest (Gifted) Curriculum. These include sharing a teacher across Holland Brook School and Readington Middle School for the Quest program, and spreading out the Enrichment programs to a variety of teachers. This will not only result in a reduction in each grade's curriculum and enrichment offerings, but will also jeopardize the interdisciplinary strength of Quest. We also risk losing an extremely qualified, and important educator (and the developer of most of these popular programs).
We urge the Readington School District, including it's Administration, Superintendent, Department Supervisors, Principals, and Board of Education, to reconsider the planned changes to format and resource allocation to the current Quest and Enrichment Programs at RMS and HBS. As parents, we are concerned that many of the proposed changes have not been communicated to those impacted and as such, request more transparency on these plans. We feel strongly that the changes being discussed, would have negative impacts on these programs. These impacts include a reduction in opportunities for all students to participate in Enrichment programs, a decrease in dedicated schedule time and a decrease in academic rigor, coupled with a diluted curriculum for Quest.
For many students, these programs are a crucial and much needed component of their student life and curriculum. Each school deserves its own and dedicated resource to support Quest, and Enrichment. Over the past six years, our District has continued to cut back the resources and time allocated to Gifted and Enrichment education and programs, and our request is to preserve the current curriculum, with dedicated and specialized teachers at each school.
- We oppose the sharing of G&T/Quest and enrichment teacher across RMS and HBS.
- We oppose eliminating the current dedicated .5 HBS G&T/Quest and enrichment teacher.
- We oppose the proposed consolidation of the interdisciplinary G&T/Quest program at RMS into an Honors Language Arts class, and request the continued offering of a structured and interdisciplinary Quest program in 6th, 7th and 8th grade years.
- We request collaboration between parents, community, and the school district prior to considering such important changes to school programs.
Important points/outstanding questions:
- The current format and curriculum was approved by the BOE in 2016. We would like to understand what’s driving a proposed change so soon. What’s not working? What other alternatives have been considered?
- How are the true needs of the Quest and Enrichment students being considered? Who is representing them in these decisions?
- From an Enrichment perspective, interest and participation at RMS has increased over the past few years (most in part due to the passion and dedication from the current teacher), yet over the past six years, Enrichment and Gifted programs continue to see disproportionate reductions.
- The current RMS Quest/Enrichment teacher is being pursued by neighboring districts. If forced to cover 2 schools, our District is at serious jeopardy of losing an extremely qualified and very treasured teacher and contributor to our students education.
- Spreading out Enrichment offerings among several teachers within each school (versus a dedicated resource at each school) is not an ideal solution as we would a) lose the continuity of a multidisciplinary group working on a variety of projects and b) would place individual enrichment classes across various teachers who have one empty random period, versus a dedicated teacher with three periods devoted to all three grades receiving sequential e development in specific Enrichment skills.
- Response to numerous inquiries to the Adminstration has been that this will be decided over the Summer. If that is the case, is that enough time to modify and prepare a new curriculum for Fall 2017? How does that immediately impact kids in the current program? At RMS, the students are very aware of the multi year format and they positively anticipate the following years content. As parents, we would like increased transparency to the process and collaboration on any proposed changes impacting these programs. We all have a vested interest in the success of our children.
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